Auto Insurance

auto insurance

Standard auto is what most drivers in Ontario are familiar with. However, a standard policy leaves you under insured. Two important optional coverages we offer all clients are Collision and Comprehensive coverage. In addition to these, there are several policy endorsements that might be right for you:

  • Loss of vehicle use/non-owned auto covers the cost of a rental vehicle if it is being repaired or replaced, if the damage is the result of a covered loss on your policy. Rental car insurance can also cover physical damage to a rental car, negating the need to buy expensive coverage from rental car agencies.
  • Accident protection/forgiveness protects your driving record in the event that you have an at-fault loss. This coverage can only be used once within a certain period, a second accident would still be charged to your record.
  • Family Protection Coverage extends coverage to you or a member of your family from your Third-Party Liability. This is useful in a situation where you are involved in an accident that isn’t your fault, with someone who carries less insurance, no insurance, or is an unidentified driver.

UBI – Usage Based Insurance

usage based insurance

Usage based insurance (UBI), sometime known as telematics, is a technology that combines telecommunications and measuring. Specifically, these are devices that measure how you drive. Information such as how hard a driver breaks, or how quickly they accelerate is recorded by most vehicles. In addition to being recorded by the vehicle, there are smartphone apps that can record and share this data.

While this technology is new to the Ontario auto insurance market, it has been used in Europe, the United States and in Quebec. There are currently over 5.5 million usage based insurance policies active world wide and this number in increasing rapidly. By some estimates there will be over 100 million telematics policies by 2018! So what’s all the fuss about?

Insurance companies that offer UBI programs use vehicle data to assign discounts based on driving habits. It’s important to note that in Ontario this data can only be used as an incentive; companies are not allowed to surcharge, or refuse a risk based on telematics data. Discounts can range from 5% to 25% in some cases. On average, Ontario drivers have the most expensive insurance in Canada. The potential savings from using a telematics device make its appeal clear. There is also strong evidence that UBI programs can improve a person’s driving habits.

Drivers can check their driving attributes through a convenient website or mobile app. This can be especially helpful for new drivers who might not recognize risky behaviours, like constant acceleration followed by hard breaking. Having a baseline for these habits makes it easy for drivers to track their improvements. Parents or driving instructors can review the data to provide coaching and constructive feedback.

Usage based car insurance isn’t for everyone. Young drivers and drivers who live in expensive insurance territories like Brampton and Etobicoke have the most to gain from these potential savings. A common complaint about car insurance is that people can’t help where they live, why should you have to pay for all the bad drivers? Telematics is a step towards fixing this problem. Insurers and good drivers have a lot to gain from auto insurance that is based on real driving habits.

There are no additional costs to the driver. Downloading the app and setting it up is easy. Contact us today to start saving on your auto insurance!

The 15 Cars That Owners Keep for 15 Years or More

Do you remember where you were in 2003? Jean Chretien was the Prime Minister of Canada. In Toronto Mel Lastman was our Mayor, at least for a few more months. Popular films included Love actually, Kill Bill and the critically acclaimed masterpiece The Room.

Perhaps surprisingly, there are still quite a few cars on the road from 2003.  Iseecars.com has put together a list of the top 15 cars the owners keep for at least 15 years. The list is overwhelmingly made up of Japanese brands, some of which are made in North America. Toyota dominates the top spots:

Rank Model % Original Owners Keeping Car for 15+ Years Compared to Average
1 Toyota Highlander 18.3% 2.7x
2 Toyota Sienna 17.1% 2.5x
3 Toyota Tundra 15.7% 2.3x
4 Toyota Prius 15.0% 2.2x
5 Toyota RAV4 14.3% 2.1x
6 Honda Odyssey 12.8% 1.9x
7 Toyota Sequoia 12.8% 1.9x
8 Toyota Tacoma 12.4% 1.8x
9 Honda CR-V 11.9% 1.7x
10 Toyota Avalon 11.7% 1.7x
11 Acura MDX 11.6% 1.7x
12 Toyota Camry 11.5% 1.7x
13 Subaru Forester 11.5% 1.7x
14 Nissan Frontier 11.0% 1.6x
15 Volkswagen Golf 10.6% 1.6x
Average for All Cars 6.8%

Lyft Ridesharing Launches in Toronto

lyft

Ridesharing competition in Toronto is about to grow with Lyft coming to town. Torontonians flocked to Uber even while insurance and by-laws remained a grey area for months. The City of Toronto legitimized ridesharing in 2016 by passing regulations. We’ve talk about the insurance implications of ridesharing before, so drivers are wondering how Lyft is handling things.

First, Lyft has an Ontario Automobile Policy (OAP) in place. Coverage for the fleet is being provided through Aviva Canada. What remains unclear is who’s picking up coverage for the gaps; time when drivers are not on fare, but might not be covered by their personal policies. Even if drivers are not actively “trolling” for fares, there may be coverage issues. An insurer could argue that if the vehicle is being driven all over the GTA that represents a much different risk than what they signed up for.

What if a driver takes a fare from Toronto to Hamilton and gets into an accident on the way back? Would they have been in that situation if they weren’t driving for hire?

Uber and Intact partnered to solve this with Intact extending coverage to their policy holders for these gaps between fares. Drivers would need a personal auto insurance policy with Intact, but coverage was free of charge.

Interestingly Aviva was first to offer ridesharing coverage in Ontario, for an additional premium. They were left out of the Uber / Intact deal. Perhaps they’ll follow suit with a similar “free” extension of coverage for Aviva policy holders. For now, anyone planning to drive with Lyft should discuss these insurance issues with their broker.